“You are going to miss this one day.”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase, I would have enough dollars to drown my annoyance in several bottles of expensive red wine. I know this comment comes from a good place, but really, all it does is make me feel guilty, like I am not enjoying motherhood enough. I mean, should I really be enjoying my 3-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in aisle 9 because I won’t buy him his third Lightening McQueen car? Really, am I going to miss that? If I could throw down a couple of bets on it, no, no I won’t miss that. Actually, I’m looking forward to the day I take my kids to Target and I don’t have to worry about throwing one in the cart, the other over my shoulder, and hauling out because both are screaming their precious little heads off.
However, you can bet every bite of Ben & Jerry’s, I am going to miss a lot of parts from each chapter. I already have.
I don’t miss waking up 10 times during the night to feed a crying baby. However, I do miss the way their tiny little body nuzzles right into mine. It’s like God made them perfectly to fit me. Oh my heart, that sweet smell and soft wrinkly skin- sometimes I close my eyes just to picture them. It was like yesterday the top of their head was right under my cheek as we slowly rocked- just us, and the quietness.
I don’t miss trying to figure out the throws of breastfeeding, or measuring a bottle at 3:00AM. Looking over at my counter-top, seeing it covered in every breast pump accessory possible, or worrying if sweet potatoes or green beans would be the best food to try first. I will, undoubtedly, miss making them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sitting them up on the table next to me while we craft daddy’s favorite rice krispies, and seeing their eyes light up when they lick the bowl.
I won’t miss running them down and practically preforming an WWE style take-down to get a shirt on. But my heart, every time I fold that little shirt up and put it in storage… I am reminded how big they are getting. I know they will never be small enough again to fit in that shirt, and the thought of that cripples me a little.
I won’t miss those car rides where one is screaming, the other is crying, and nothing I do can settle anyone down. But the day I put away that kids music CD we jam out to every day on our way home from daycare, I am honestly going to miss that. The look of excitement as we sing through each song together, and they yell, “ONE MORE TIME, MAMA!”
I really don’t think I am going to miss interruptions while I try to shower, or go use the restroom. BUT, I will miss them being small enough to sit on my lap, curled up looking at me like I am the best thing since sliced bread. Telling me how beautiful I look before I leave on date night with daddy, and asking me to kiss their ouchies because I am the only one who can make it feel better.
There is no doubt in my mind I won’t miss getting up at 5AM every morning. But as soon as that stops it’s probably around the time they won’t want me to lay next to them in bed, rub their back and hum “you are my sunshine” for the 100th time. Then blow me a kiss and ask if I caught it as I say good night, and close the door behind me. I pause a little and I think about turning around to stay a few more minutes, because this is limited, and I know that.
I haven’t been doing this motherhood thing as long as most, but that doesn’t mean I don’t realize there will be parts that go too quickly. That also doesn’t mean that I should feel bad about not enjoying the parts that haven’t gone by quickly enough. It’s a balance, like everything in life. Will I miss my babies being little? I already do. My mind will choose to hold onto the parts I love, the ones that bring me the best memories. Because of that, I had another child. Because of that, I want another child. Because of that, someday I will probably be the old lady in aisle 9, telling some young mom, “Oh, you are going to miss it one of these days.”
There are parts we won’t miss, but our hearts hold onto the parts we do. Navigating the chaos, tackling a new phase. Figuring it out, and moving forward. Holding tight to these babies, and then letting them go. Longing for the day to be done, then missing them after you say good night. That’s just motherhood.